St PETERSBURG, July 18 (Itar-Tass) - Police in St Petersburg have detained about 40 participants in an unauthorized action in support of Alexei Navalny, a leader of Russia’s off-parliament opposition whom a court in the city of Kirov sentenced to five years in jail upon finding him guilty of commercial embezzlements.
The action was held on Malaya Sadovaya mall. Police sources said about 500 supporters of the off-parliament opposition had gathered there for the action.
By 21:30 Moscow Standard Time the number reduced to about 300 people as some of the participants had started leaving the place.
Alexander Shishlov, the city’s ombudsman for human rights who had come to the area to inspect the situation said the actions of the police were appropriate.
The action was not coordinated with the city authorities. Last week, the administration of St Petersburg turned down the oppositionists’ application for a meeting of Navalny’s supporters in Konyushennaya Square.